The Naval Station Great Lakes’ Warrior Zone, designed for functional fitness and high-intensity training, opened in November 2014 to meet the needs of its military personnel. Cutting-edge equipment was carefully selected for the “Zone” by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) fitness professionals, focusing on functionality, the latest trends in fitness, and the ability to promote Navy Fitness programs, such as NOFFS (Navy Operational Fitness Fueling Series 2.0). The Warrior Zone was funded as part of an Office of Secretary of Defense Grant.
Great Lakes Fitness Coordinator, Lindsey Wolfram said, “We developed this fitness space with the focus on operational duties and movement patterns of everyday life. The overall goal of the Warrior Zone is for our sailors to experience significant health and fitness gains, as well as to decrease injury by teaching the muscles of the body to move synergistically, rather than focusing on the isolation of one particular muscle group.”
Staff members received rigorous training of the equipment prior to its opening, courtesy of the Life Fitness company, who supplied various equipment for the area. The training was taught by Jason Barber, Head of Sports Medicine/Strength and Conditioning for the U.S. Army, World Class Athlete Program. Barber came on-site to lead two full days of hands-on instruction of the equipment for the installation’s MWR fitness staff, and other military leaders of the base. “With more than 2,500 visits so far, the Warrior Zone’s customers are reaping the benefits. Certified MWR Navy Fitness instructors are busy providing individual, group, and open hour instruction utilizing the “Zone’s” high-intensity equipment including kettlebells, sleds, tires, plyometric equipment, TRX, custom HD Elite Power racks, Life Fitness Synergy 360 and more,” said Wolfram.
The Naval Station Great Lakes in northern Illinois is home to the Navy’s only boot camp. Approximately 35 to 40 percent of new sailors stay at Great Lakes for their advanced training. John Prue, MWR Installation Program Director said, “It is important to have world-class fitness opportunities here at the ‘Quarterdeck of the U.S. Navy!’” Prue went on to say, “This project gave us an opportunity to use underutilized space and thus create a true functional fitness program, providing another alternative to fitness training, as we continue to develop a genuine culture of fitness for our customers here at Great Lakes.”
Chris Mohr is the MWR Marketing Manager for the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois.
Photographs by Al Fleming, MWR Marketing Coordinator, Naval Station Great Lakes